Ethiopia’s Amhara: ‘War has no use at all, but to free my family […] the only option is to join the front line.’

Sitting opposite a bomb-damaged building with shattered windows, three friends in their mid-20s were sharing lunch at a small café in Nefas ... Machew, a town in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region, one afternoon this December. They had just completed several weeks of training after signing up as militia to fight the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group. The next day, they were due head to the front and into battle for the first time.